Who or What's at Fault? God?

It is really ironic when only yesterday we were shouting for a global warming action theme for our governments to take serious considerations in combating global warming. It was the same evening many KLites had to swear and curse in their cars for being stuck in massive jams. On April 17th for example, some of us even had to dive (see newspaper article below from Malay Mail - Drivers Diving Down Jalan Travers.) Lucky enough for me by the time I left the office yeasterday it was after 7pm and the rain had nearly stopped. It was only drizzling and thank God going home from the office isn't as bad as having to travel along Federal Highway or MRR2 (and many other roads in and around KL) on rainy days. Otherwise, I too would be swearing and cursing all the way home - such a nice way to end the day after working hard at the office.

So, who is really at fault? Who is really to blame? Is it God? Do thank Him for blessing us with rain. I'd rather have rain than drought, cooling rainy weather than the hot sunny day (most of us would agree to this, I think) - stop grumbling for too much rain and stop blaming Him for the disasters that we ourselves create.

It wouldn't be fair to just put the authority at fault either or just have them shoulder the responsibilities of taking care of our home. Of course, yes, we're tax payers and we'd like to see our money put to work for our own benefits, but how much tax money should we spend on saving the city from flash floods when there are still many parts of the country that is under developed? How much more money do we have to put to waste to build facilities like the 'not' so SMART tunnel, just to curb flash flood problems and help ease traffic - all these efforts are wasted if KLites themselves are not involved in making their home a nicer and a more pleasant place to live in.

Many of us agree that flash floods are mainly caused by clogged drains and not due to over flowing rivers, but how many of us still throw rubbish into drains and into rivers? However small your litter is, it will accumulate and cause trouble sooner or later. So my point of writing today is to urge fellow KLites to stop blaming others; the authorities or even God for that matter, but to start being aware and responsible of our own environment.

Flash flood is an outcry by the surrounding to tell us that our environment is not healthy. It is an indication that we're living around piles of rubbish accumulating from our own negligence. However good our local councils are at planning, executing those plans and curbing flash floods, if we keep littering, nothing will change but worsens.

Of course, to the authorities, WAKE UP - there's definitely a reason why you're chosen to be up there - not to play God but to work your ass out for us tax paying citizens.

Article from the Malay Mail, April 23, 2008


By: Dawn Chan, The Malay Mail

MOTORISTS, fed up with the daily gridlock and struggling through floods, have blasted City Hall for its inaction in tackling the problem, especially in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

The business community, including hoteliers, have also taken City Hall to task for the constant fl ooding that has tarnished the image of the capital city.

The Malay Mail newsroom was inundated yesterday with calls from irate readers who said they had had enough of the after-effects of the rainy spell in Kuala Lumpur which started about two weeks ago.

The readers said they get stressed and nervous whenever it rains as the authorities have done nothing to counter fl ash fl oods.

A reader, P. L. Cheng, is wondering if his diligence in paying his taxes on time every year is duty ‘gone down the drain’.

The senior citizen wants City Hall to explain how they have been spending the rakyat’s money as he has seen little progress when it comes to these fl ash fl oods.

“Clogged drains continue to be one of the main problems. If City Hall has indeed hired cleaning contractors, then they are not doing their jobs well.

“All we want is to have our little voices to be heard. What’s the point of having a complaint hotline, which probably receives mostly complaints on clogged drains and uncollected rubbish, when nothing is done?” Cheng said.

“The mayor (Datuk Ab Hakim Borhan) should wake up. He has to deal with a lot of unhappy, irritated and frustrated KLites if they don’t do something.” Another reader, who wished to be known only as James, described the problem as ridiculous and had no qualms about laying the blame on City Hall. He said City Hall should stop blaming Mother Nature.

“We don’t want to hear any more excuses! Is it really all that hard for them to be on the ground daily to clean clogged drains? We are taxpayers and we want them to get into action quickly.

“While they probably have bigger plans to counter this problem, they should do the logical and basic thing. Clear the drains.” Iskandar Ramly, who called while stuck in a traffi c jam at Jalan Sultan Ismail, vented his frustration at City Hall, which recently spoke about wanting to implement a plan for future developments to have underground water tanks to combat fl ash fl oods.

“Don’t they realise that it is a little too late to do so, particularly in the city centre? The impact will hardly be seen.

Moreover, there is not much land available in the city centre anymore.

“They should instead look at the bigger picture and face the harsh reality that their drainage system can no longer cope with the vast and unmonitored development.

“They have been giving approvals as and when they want to. They have not been doing their job and have been ignorant about the environment. They are cutting down trees as they like.

In the end, it is the rakyat who suffer”.

Tour agent Marcus Lim said it was embarrassing to explain the situation to a tour group from the United States while caught in a traffi c jam for more than 30 minutes for a less than twokilometre ride from KLCC to Jalan Sultan Ismail.

“The fi rst-time tourists to Malaysia were very impressed with our beautiful infrastructure but criticised our inability to cope with fl oods.

“Imagine the damage if they go home and tell their family and friends of their experience here.

That won’t be nice at all and we may lose them as repeat visitors.

“This is a bad example of a world class city and it would refl ect badly on the tourism industry.” Meanwhile, a 24-hour City Hall Natural Disaster hotline spokesperson, when contacted at 4.35pm yesterday, said they had dispatched traffi c wardens to areas such as Jalan San Peng, Jalan Sallehudin and Jalan Sultan Ismail to help ease traffi c congestion, and also to roads surrounding Puduraya where traffi c was reported to have come to a standstill.

The spokesman admitted that fl oods were due to clogged drains that resulted in water from the drains spilling onto the roads.

The Malay Mail had, over the past two weeks, conveyed to Ab Hakim the grouses of motorists.

Unfortunately, Ab Hakim’s reply was: “What can I do? The rain has been too heavy.” On April 10, City Hall directorgeneral Datuk Salleh Yusup had said plans to implement the rain harvesting system through underground water tanks, which is part of the Malaysian Environment-Friendly Manual (Masma) system, were in the pipeline.

The rain harvesting system is currently used in Australia, Japan and other developed countries, according to City Hall.

Drainage and Irrigation Department director general Datuk Ahmad Husaini Sulaiman, in a report on April 7, had said that fl oods in the city were not caused by the rivers overfl owing their banks — the drains were the cause of it.

He had explained that water has not been fl owing smoothly because some drains were too small and easily clogged with rubbish and construction debris.

“If the channels fl owing into the Klang River are clogged before the water can reach the river, it will spill onto the streets. This means all channels leading to Klang River should be well-maintained.”

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